Preliminary results from an academic study on individuals who have been fans of K-pop five years or longer reveals the appeal of both new and veteran groups and a focus on vocals and choreography. 192 responses collected between September 9, 2016 and November 7, 2016 are in response to the query, “Please list your bias (i.e. favorite) K-pop groups and solo artists and briefly explain why you like them.” The entire dataset can be accessed here.
Sechs Kies is one of most popular 1st-generation male K-pop “idol” groups, contemporaries of H.O.T. The group is also one of a handful of 1st-generation “idol” groups to make a comeback after a multi-year hiatus, signing with Big Three Korean agency YG Entertainment in 2016. Attesting to the continued popularity of the group, “Hours before the 5 p.m. concert, Sechs Kies’ fans — many of whom were in their 30s and older and some accompanied by their children — swarmed Olympic Park to see their favorites stars of their youth” (Korea Herald).
Name: Sechs Kies, means “six pebbles” in German
Members: Eun Ji Won, leader, Lee Jae Jin, Kim Jae Duk, Kang Sung Hoon, Jang Su Won, maknae
Former member: Ko Ji Yong
Debut: April 15, 1997
Label: DSP Entertainment (1997 – 2000), YG Entertainment (2016 -)
Fandom: Pre-2016: DSF (Dear SechsKies Friend); Post-2016: YellowKies
Big Bang | Psy | Mobb | Winner | IKON | Blackpink Epik High | Akdong Musician | Lee Hi | Jinusean |
“Sechs Kies Calls Comeback Concert It’s ‘Dream Stage.” The Korea Herald. 12 Sept 2016, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20160912000692 (3 Jan 2017).
One of the first rap groups in South Korea, 45RPM recall the music landscape in the late 1990s: “‘Back then, there was nothing like what we call pure rap. You know how they have some sort of bridge, and then a little rap here and there. But when I started listening to LPs, I liked that with just rap, pure rap, I can express myself and thoroughly speak my mind,’ J-Kwondo said” (The Korea Herald). Known for being staples in underground Korean hip-hop, they have collaborated with more mainstream artists, including K.Will (KpopStarz).
Name: 45RPM, 45 revolutions per minute, the speed of vinyl music
Members: J-Kwondo (Park Jae Jin), Smash (Lee Hyun Bae)
Label: YG Entertainment (2005 – ?)
Fandom: Sa-Sip-Oh (45 in Korean)
- 45RPM X DJ Doc. 리기동 + STREET LIFE Performance | 2. 45RPM X DJ Soulscape: 붐박스 [Boom Box] MV | 3. 45RPM X Lee Seung Hwan: This Is Love MV | 4. 45RPM X LOCO: Performance on Mnet K-pop
“45RPM Still Here and Not Going Anywhere.” The Korea Herald. 22 Dec 2013. http://www.koreaherald.com/common_prog/newsprint.php?ud=20131222000132&dt=2, (3 Jan 2017).
Jackie Chung. “Group 45RPM Releases New Song Featuring K.Will.” 15 May 2015. http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/201427/20150515/hip-hop-45rpm-releases-new-song-love-affair-with-k-wills-featuring.htm, (3 Jan 2017).
Eru is a Korean-American male singer, the son of popular Korean trot singer, Tae Jin Ah. Eru is the face of Hallyu in Indonesia, and “the first Korean singer to stage performance on eight different music programs in Indonesia and top the local music chart” (Global Indonesian Voices). He has also made inroads into China as a result of participating in K-drama series like Temptation, which “has become quite popular in China, which has lead to the soundtrack receiving just as much attention and love from Chinese fans. YouTube videos are being made with the Korean lyrics of the tracks being translated into Chinese” (Kpopstarz).
Name: Eru (Jo Sung Hyun)
Debut: September 5, 2005
Fandom: Eru Fund
- Eru X Yong Jun Hyung (BEAST): I Hate You | 2. Eru X Sule: Saranghaeyo | 3. Eru X Bae Seul Ki X Kim Hyun Joong: Black Glasses | 4. Eru X J Yo: Garosugil(가로수길)
Eru X Yong Jun Hyung (BEAST): I Hate You. 1theK. “Eru(이루) _ I Hate You(미워요) (feat. Junhyung of BEAST) MV.” YouTube. 7 Aug 2012. https://youtu.be/TtTJbd2mM0I, (9 Dec 2016).
Eru X Sule: Saranghaeyo. FalconMusicIndonesia. “Eru 이루 Ft Sule – Saranghaeyo.” YouTube. 16 Mar 2013. https://youtu.be/kQllwjfRqPE, (9 Dec 2016).
Eru X Bae Seul Ki X Kim Hyun Joong: Black Glasses. MBCkpop. “Eru – Black Glasses(feat.Bae Seul-ki, Kim Hyun-joong), 이루 – 까만 안경(feat.배슬기, 김.” YouTube. 17 Feb 2012. https://youtu.be/Sy2dFdyl2l0, (9 Dec 2016).
Eru X J Yo: Garosugil(가로수길). 1theK. “[MV] Eru(이루), J-Yo (Lucky J(럭키제이)) _ Garosu-gil(가로수길).” YouTube. 25 Feb 2015. https://youtu.be/7VHjqvCxIDU, (9 Dec 2016).
Arvelia Yardhika Ong. “Korean Singer Eru Cast as Male Lead in Indonesian FTV.” Global Indonesian Voices. 14 Oct 2014. Evernote.
Diana Shin. “Eru’s Popularity Spreads from Indonesia to China with New Drama OST.” Kpopstarz. 18 Aug 2014. Evernote.
Wonder Girls often makes the list of major female K-pop groups, along with 2NE1, S.E.S and Girls Generation. The group is credited with spearheading K-pop in the United States years before Psy (Billboard). The group also features a “signature retro sound and concept, which borrows from the 60s, 70s and 80s” (POPCRUSH).
Name: Wonder Girls, from the television show “MTV Wonder Girls” that introduced them
Members: Sunmi, (Lee Sun Mi), Yeeun (Park Ye Eun), Yoobin (Kim Yoo Bin), Hyelim, maknae (Woo Hye Lim),
Former members: Sunye, leader (Min Sun Ye), Hyuna (Kim Hyun Ah), Sohee (Ahn So Hee)
Debut: February 13, 2007
Label: JYP Entertainment
Fandom: Wonderful, a combination of wonder and full, which describes fans
Park Jin Young | 2AM | 2PM | Miss A | Day6 | Twice | G.Soul | Got 7
- Wonder Girls X Big Bang: Tell Me | 2. Wonder Girls X BigBang: 2008 MBC Gayo DaeJun | 3. Wonder Girls X Dynamic Duo: Nobody/Anybody | 4. Wonder Girls X 2PM: Nobody Tango | 5. Wonder Girls X JYP: Irony/Tell Me/She Was Pretty | 6. Wonder Girls X KARA X Black Pearl X Girls’ Generation: Battle of the Princess | 7. Yubin (Wonder Girls) X IVY: I Dance/Sonata of Temptation | 8. Yubin (Wonder Girls) X Jonghyun (SHINee): Deja-Boo | 9. Wonder Girls X 2PM X Miss A: Heartbeat
Jeff Benjamin. “Top 10 K-pop Girl Groups You Need To Know.” Billboard. 30 Apr 2014. Evernote.
Jeff Benjamin. “Wonder Girls Are Back!” Billboard. 24 June 2015. Evernote.
Alexis Hodoyan-Gastelum. “Wonder Girls at Nine: The Ups and Downs of K-pop’s Enduring Girl Group.” POPCRUSH. 8 Feb 2016. Evernote.
Wonder Girls X BigBang: Tell Me. myspace.com/ippandaish. “[HQ]Big Bang & Wonder Girls – Tell Me.” YouTube. 25 Sept 2009. https://youtu.be/Y3d2AinyB9E, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X BigBang: 2008 MBC Gayo DaeJun. yannaisVIP. “MBC Gayo DaeJun Big Bang & Wonder Girls.” YouTube. 5 Jul 2009. https://youtu.be/NjqAzEnuZo8, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X Dynamic Duo: Nobody/Anybody. Mneet K-POP. “Wondergirls & Dynamic Duo – Nobody/Anybody.” YouTube. 14 Jul 2009. https://youtu.be/dKrU_BsEmD8, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X 2PM: Nobody Tango. Anti SNSD 4ever. “[Vietsub] Nobody Tango – Wonder Girls ft 2PM.” YouTube. https://youtu.be/FBVrBirb4AQ, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X JYP: Irony/Tell Me/She Was Pretty. JYPGTeam02. “[Vietsub Kara] Irony + Tell me + She was pretty – Wonder Girls feat. JYP.” YouTube. 17 Feb 2013. https://youtu.be/3QyiZt3pzaY, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X KARA X Black Pearl X Girls’ Generation: Battle of the Princess. Viet Le. “HD Wonder Girls (원더걸스), KARA, Black Pearl, and Girls Generation-Battle of the Princess.” YouTube. 16 May 2009. https://youtu.be/1KmxJIDsXpg, (12 Dec 2016).
Yubin (Wonder Girls) X IVY: I Dance/Sonata of Temptation. Lokyan69. “【1080P】IVY ft.Yubin(Wonder Girls)- I Dance & Sonata of Temptation (14 July,2013).’ YouTube. https://youtu.be/sQeQNFXK6Zw, (12 Dec 2016).
Yubin (Wonder Girls) X Jonghyun (SHINee): Deja-Boo. DonghaeELFSuJu. 151227 JONGHYUN 종현 (SHINee 샤이니) (feat. Wonder Girls Yubin (원더걸스 유빈))- 데자-부 (Déjà-Boo) @ 가요대전 Live.” YouTube. https://youtu.be/JLMZgMswtRM, (12 Dec 2016).
Wonder Girls X 2PM X Miss A: Heartbeat. jennifer cb. “2pm ft wondergirls miss a heartbeat 111 1 nhk bshi jyp nation in japan 2 11.” YouTube. 14 Dec 2011. https://youtu.be/uUx83wVZo4U, (12 Dec 2016).
Survey results suggest that BABYs, fans of the male K-pop group B. A.P, like the group because of its uniqueness, music and the extramusical activities of the members. These results come from the FAVORITE ARTIST: KARTIST3YR DATASET, part of the 3Year Korean Popular Music Survey. This data note is based on a small sample of 11 respondents.
Respondents point to the way that B.A.P differs from other K-pop “idol” groups. One noted that “they have a different feeling to the Kpop industry” and another stated that “they don’t just have a pretty-boy sound.” This can be seen from their debut song, “Warrior.”
Respondents also referred to the group’s musical ability. One stated, “They have a wide variety of types of songs (‘Coffee Shop’ is mellow, ‘Hurricane’ is dance and ‘Badman’ is just hard).” Another stated, “They clearly have a passion for music and the music they make, even sometimes getting involved with its creation.”
Several respondents noted the activities of the members beyond music making. One respondent noted, “They’re having a concert because of their charity works. They have the heart of helping others despite . . . their busy schedules.” Another stated, “The leader participates in helping children and the fans also participate in actions [by] UNICEF.”
“FAVORITE ARTIST: KARTIST3YR DATASET,” KPOPCULTURE, accessed December 1, 2016, http://kpop.omeka.net/items/show/695.
TSENT 2008. “B.A.P – WARRIOR (워리어) M/V.” YouTube. 25 Jan 2012. https://youtu.be/5tLooPlf2Sw, *(9 Dec 2016).
GOT7 is a seven-member Korean male group, often compared to 2PM, their label mates at JYP Entertainment. GOT7 has been prolific for a rookie group, with several releases before its first anniversary. JB, the group’s leader, describes GOT7’s sound as built on a “base of hip-hop and R&B” (The Korea Times). The group is also known for its unique choreography: “Got7’s dance performances display moves derived from martial arts combined with b-boying . . . . the boys are highly proficient in b-boying and martial art tricking” (KCrush).
Name: GOT7, presumably in relation to the seven members
Members: JB (Im Jae-bum, leader), Mark (Mark Yi-Eun Tuan), Jackson (Jackson Wang), Junior (Park Jin-young), Youngjae (Choi Young-jae), Bam Bam (Kunpimook Bhuwakul), Yugyeom (Kim Yu-gyeom, maknae)
Debut: January 16, 2014
Label: JYP Entertainment
Fandom: IGOT7, which signifies that their fans have “gotten” them
B1A4, GOT7 and CLC: Family MV | BTS and GOT7: 2015 MAMA
Tae Hong. “Interview: A Year After Debut, Got7 Looks to the Top.” The Korea Times. 7 May 2015. Evernote.
J Chung. “GOT7 – Hot and Dedicated to Success.” Crush . Evernote.
B1A4, GOT7 and CLC: Family MV. FND Smart. “[가족사랑의날] B1A4 (비원에이포) & GOT7 (갓세븐) Collabo – Family (패밀리).” YouTube. 25 Nov 2014. https://youtu.be/hfL5HzYX8xo, (25 Nov 2016).
BTS and GOT7: 2015 MAMA. Fatima Aliriza Aguil. “ BTS and GOT7 Collaboration (Intro) + If You Do for MAMA 2015.” YouTube. 8 Dec 2015. https://youtu.be/bjZLVU-lmLE, (25 Nov 2016).
Shinhwa is best known for being the oldest K-pop group that has maintained its original lineup, paving the way for longevity for other K-pop “idol” groups. Not only is the group one of the oldest “idol” groups, it has also pioneered promoting as a group while also supporting the individual careers of its members. One of the key factors in their longevity can be traced to the group’s constant presence in the public eye, before and after a four-year hiatus. In addition to consisting producing high-quality albums, “some members act, others make music, and some are even involved in helping others produce the next generation of idol groups” (The Altantic). Their long career can also be traced to their musical development: “They may not have branched out and stretched the limits of pop, but they were always able to adapt to changes in pop music itself over the years. Their singles generally represent the sound of K-pop at the time they were released to the point w[h]ere you can basically start with “Resolver” and listen to their singles all the way up to “Venus” and have a history lesson along the way” (seoulbeats).
Name: Shinhwa, which means myth or legend
Members: Eric Mun, leader (Mun Jung-Hyuk), Minwoo (Lee Minwoo), Dongwan (Kim Dongwan) , Hyesung (Jung Pil-Kyo), Junjin (Park Choongjae), Andy, maknae (Lee Sunho)
Debut: March 24, 1998
Label: SM Entertainment (1998-2003), Good Entertainment (2003-2008), Shinhwa Company (2011-present)
Fandom: Shinhwa Changjo, which means creating a legend
Amy He. “What the Backstreet Boys Could Learn from K-pop.” The Atlantic. 23 Jul 2013. Evernote.
Gaya. “SB Exchange #14: The Legend of Shinhwa.” seoulbeats. Evernote.
Survey results suggests that Inspirits, fans of the male K-pop group Infinite, like the group because of its strong choreography, vocals and group dynamic. These results come from the FAVORITE ARTIST: KARTIST3YR DATASET, part of the Hallyu Korean Popular Music Survey. This data note is based on a small sample of 13 respondents.
Respondents repeatedly point to Infinite’s dance skills as a primary reason for the group’s appeal, noting their ability to dance in sync. One respondent stated that s/he liked the group because “they have one of the most dopest choreography ever; they are /nearly/synchronized.” Such dance skills can be seen in music videos like “Come Back Again.”
Other respondents point to the group’s vocal talent. One respondent noted that “all of the members can sing, even the rappers.” Another noted the ability of the members to harmonize. This can be seen in their performance of “Diamond.”
Some respondents noted the dynamic between group members. One respondent described the members as “handsome and funny,” while another noted that “they’re serious on stage but down-to-earth off and funny/goofy.”
“FAVORITE ARTIST: KARTIST3YR DATASET,” KPOPCULTURE, accessed December 1, 2016, http://kpop.omeka.net/items/show/695.
Jeff Benjamin. “INFINITE’s ‘Destiny’ Music Video: Watch the EDM-Influenced Single’s Blockbuster Visual.” Billboard. 16 Jul 2013. http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/k-town/1764404/infinites-destiny-music-video-watch-the-edm-influenced-singles. (1 Dec 2016).
KBS World TV. “INFINITE – Back / Diamond [Music Bank COMEBACK / 2014.07.18].” YouTube. 12 Aug 2014. https://youtu.be/scg2UqfC15U, (1 Dec 2016).
wolliment. “인피니트 ‘다시돌아와’ 안무ver. 뮤직비디오.” YouTube. 27 Jun 2010. https://youtu.be/6NzVJYEcruw, (1 Dec 2016).
1sagain is a Korean rapper who keeps a very low profile, generating very little media outside announcements about upcoming releases.
Name: 1sagain (“once again,” Park Jin Woo)
Label: Neuron Music
Ju Bora | Paul Kim | Molly D. | Bada Lee
1sagain and Heenain: Sick Of It All MV | 1sagain and Illy: Love is Over MV | 1sagain and Donnie J: Depressed MV | 1sagain and Ju Bora: If You Leave Me MV | 1sagain and Park Sumin: Go Home MV
1sagain and Heenain: Sick Of It All MV. neuron music. “원써겐 (1sagain) – 이젠 지쳤어.. (feat.히나인) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 14 Sept 2011. https://youtu.be/6gskjWWOOTo. (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Illy: Love is Over MV. CJENMMUSIC. “원써겐 (1SaGain) – Love Is Over (Feat. 일리) MV.” YouTube. 17 Jan 2013. https://youtu.be/in3Ss9CRkf8. (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Donnie J: Depressed MV. neuron music. “원써겐&도니제이 (1sagain&Donnie J) – 우울해 (Depressed) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 10 Jul 2011. https://youtu.be/1HUJR7CUr_w, (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Ju Bora: If You Leave Me MV. neuron music. “원써겐&주보라 – 날 떠난다는 가정 아래 (New) – Official M/V.” YouTube. 16 Jul 2014. https://youtu.be/7KeeRwpFCj0, (29 Nov 2016).
1sagain and Park Sumin: Go Home MV. neuron music. “원써겐 (1sagain) – Go Home (feat.박수민) – Official M/V, ENG Sub.” YouTube. 12 Mar 2014. https://youtu.be/C_p-6zykSpY, (29 Nov 2016).